A self-described folk singer of the vintage variety, Ian Fitzgerald has established his stance over the course of three albums and appearances at all the prerequisite festivals - Newport, Falcon Ridge and more. So when it comes to the obtusely title "You Won't Even Know I'm Gone," he offers up much of the same, even in the context of a varied approach. His sound is mostly of the Dylan-esque variety - feisty, expressive and puckishly implied. When he sings, "Your mother's every answer is to double up the dose/Your daddy sends you birthday greetings wishing he was comatose" on opening track "Camille," it can't help but set a tone that pervades the entire LP.
Indeed, that cocky attitude never dissipates, whether it's through the tangled trajectory of "Kingdom Come" or in the jaunty ramble of "The First Port." Even in the midst of his darkest designs - the solemn "All That's Left" and the subdued setting of "Something Tells Me" - there's a rebellious streak that never subsides. It comes to full fruition on the decidedly driving "Forget the Address" and offers up a bit of a frolic on the sly saunter of "Trouble, Me and China Lee," but his expressive sentiments always find an easy connection - engaging, exuberant and charmingly effusive.
Fitzgerald is one of those artists that embody the daring and defiance of the early '60s scene, particularly that which was spawned out of the iconic clubs of Greenwich Village and the coffee houses of New England and the Northeast. His eclectic sound hints at several familiar touchstones, but he never lands long enough to be trapped by cliches. Ultimately, Fitzgerald figures to be a fine standard bearer for today's current breed of tenacious troubadours.